Daily Archives: 21/10/2018

Nigeria: Policeman slammed into detention for assaulting lawyer

October 17, 2018

The President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Paul Usoro, SAN, has revealed that the policeman, who allegedly assaulted a lawyer, Luqman Bello, in Ilorin has been detained.

In a statement signed by Kunle Edun, the NBA National Publicity Secretary and shared on Usoro’s Twitter handle, @PaulUsoroSAN, the 29th NBA president, said, the association would not take the assault on its member lightly.

The statement read in part, “Information reaching the NBA President, Paul Usoro, SAN, confirmed that it was a Police officer from the Police Training school in Ilorin that threw caution and decency to the wind.

“Immediately the incident happened, the NBA President, reached out to the Ilorin Branch Chairman, Mr. Idowu Akande. The office of the Inspector General of Police was also contacted by the NBA President.

READ ALSO: Police rescue Uber driver from armed robbers

“The cheering news is that the officer involved is presently in Police detention on the instruction of the Commissioner of Police, Kwara State while the investigation into this ill is ongoing.”

According to Halima Jimada, a Twitter user, @halima_jimada, Luqman Bello was brutalised and stripped of his clothes by the police at A- Division, Ilorin while he was trying to secure the release of his client.



Ethiopia: Ethiopia police arrests lawyer over ‘Addis Ababa ruler’ declaration

October 18, 2018

Henok Aklilu

Activists in Ethiopia have slammed the arrest on Wednesday of a known human rights defender. Reports said lawyer Henok Aklilu was arrested and held by the police.

According to leading blogger, Befeqadu Hailu, police had searched Aklilu’s office, seized his computer before detaining him at the Sostegna police station in the capital, Addis Ababa.

Hailu described the detainee as “a human rights lawyer who defended many politically motivated charges against activists.” Award-winning journalist who was recently released from jail, Eskinder Nega, also described the arrest as a ‘bad sign,’ that a known advocate of prisonsers of conscience be imprisoned.

In explaining the reason behind the arrest, blogger Atnaf Brhane, disclosed on Thursday that Aklilu was being held with another person, Mike Melake. The duo were presented before court over accusations that they had disseminated information that “Addis Ababa cannot be ruled by an outsider.”





Russia: Aleksei Navalny’s arrested lawyer is prisoner of conscience

October 17, 2018

Aleksandr Golovach worked for watchdog known for publishing reports into illegal wealth of senior Russian politicians and officials

‘The detention of Aleksandr Golovach is the latest example of the Russian authorities’ ongoing crackdown on human rights defenders’ – Natalia Zviagina

Responding to this morning’s arbitrary detention by Russian police of Aleksandr Golovach, a lawyer for opposition leader Aleksei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation, on spurious charges of breaking a law on public gatherings, Natalia Zviagina, Director of Amnesty International Russia, said:

“The detention of Aleksandr Golovach is the latest example of the Russian authorities’ ongoing crackdown on human rights defenders and activists, and illustrates how they will resort to any excuse to target those who dare to criticise them.

“This case reveals that Russia’s repressive law on public assemblies is not only being used as a tool of wiping protests from the streets; it can also be a reason to arbitrarily arrest and detain anyone at any time.

“The police have used the draconian law as a false pretext under which to detain Golovach.

“For as long as Aleksandr Golovach is deprived of his rights to liberty, freedom of expression and peaceful assembly solely in connection with his anti-corruption activism, he is a prisoner of conscience. He must be freed immediately and unconditionally.”

The Anti-Corruption Foundation

The Anti-Corruption Foundation is an NGO created by campaigner and opposition leader Aleksei Navalny and his supporters.

The corruption watchdog is known for publishing reports of alleged illegal wealth of senior Russian politicians and officials. On numerous occasions its staff and supporters have been subjected to intimidation, harassment and persecution by the Russian authorities.







https://www.amnesty.org/es/latest/news/2018/10/russia-repressive-law-on-public-assemblies-used-to-arbitrarily-detain-anti-corruption-lawyer/ (ESPANOL)

India/Jammu & Kashmir: ‘Even if my community disowns me, I want justice’: Advocate Deepika Rajawat speaks on Kathua case, fighting abuse and hatred

October 21, 2018

File image of Deepika Singh Rajawat. News18

Even as the Kathua rape and murder case became a cause of much religious polarisation earlier this year, advocate Deepika Singh Rajawat sought to transcend those barriers by representing the victim’s family in court. Rajawat has received — and continues to receive — both effusive praise and vitriolic abuse for her decision to take up the case.

On Sunday, she will receive the Mother Teresa Memorial Award for Social Justice — an initiative of the Harmony Foundation — at an event in Mumbai. She will receive the recognition for “defying threats and intimidation to ensure justice for the underage minor victim of rape and murder”. Speaking with Firstpost, Rajawat said that getting the award is a “source of strength and courage” for her. She also expressed her views on a host of issues including the developments in the Kathua rape and murder case, accountability of the media, the death penalty and the #MeToo movement. Following are edited excerpts from the interview:

What challenges have you been facing since you decide to represent the victim’s family in the Kathua rape and murder case?
The most significant challenge has been that of fighting people from my community. Most people from the majority community are opposed to my stand. I have faced a lot of abuse and threats on social media, which was something I experienced for the first time. However, I have been facing them with pride, because I know that I am fighting for an 8-year-old child. My only motive is to secure justice for her.

I have a daughter who is six years old, and so I can understand the pain of the family of the victim in this case. That is how I approached the family and offered my services as a lawyer. I feel that if I would not have done so, they may not have gotten support from anyone.

However, even after so many months, some people still deal with me as though I have committed some offence. While I have received appreciation in the country and even outside, at many native place, a large proportion of the population have hatred towards me. Perhaps, they feel that I took a stand against my own community and supported another community. However, I feel that as a lawyer, I should focus on the client, and not the religion of the client. Even if people from my community disown me, I want to ensure justice for the child.


Lawyer-activist at the centre of Kathua row accused of rape, again





Press Release..

Advocate Deepika Singh Rajawat bags Mother Teresa Memorial Award for Social Justice -2018.

Mother Teresa Memorial Award for Social Justice 2018 honours sexual abuse survivors, persons fighting for empowering women.

The Harmony Foundation hosted the 14th annual Mother Teresa Memorial Award for Social Justice (MTMA) at the Taj Lands End, Bandra on Sunday, 21 October 2018 where those who have worked to help rescue women and children from captivity, and also survivors of sexual abuse and slavery who are now leading the fight against this social evil were honoured.

MTMA, instituted in the name of Mother Teresa, is the only award ceremony in the world hosted in her name which is endorsed by the Missionaries of Charity, the organization founded by Mother Teresa.

Several international and national awardees were honoured at the event where the Harmony Foundation raised a battle cry against exploitation and sexual abuse in all forms and vowed to sensitize masses against this evil.

Among those honoured at the MTMA was Adv. Deepika Rajawat, who has valiantly fought to seek justice in the heinous Kathua incident. Speaking at the award ceremony, Dr. Abraham Mathai, the founder chairman of Harmony Foundation said, “It is shocking that despite being in the twenty first century, we are still discussing about women and children being protected against abuse – this just shows that we still have a long way to go. Our aim is to ensure that women and children everywhere can live free from fear of exploitation and never have to face abuse in any form. We have decided to devote our time and effort to rally against abuse of women and children in every form.”

Inspite of intimidation and threats Advocate Deepika Singh Rajawat who is working for the protection of Human Rights in the state of Jammu and Kashmir since 2008, has greatly been admired for her selfless act of representing the family of eight year old victim of rape and murder in Kathua that took place in the beginning of this year.

She has been bestowed with prestigious Mother Teresa Memorial Award for Social Justice, 2018 as support and encouragement to her in the dispensation of justice for the victim of Kathua Board by Harmony Foundation, Mumbai.

Each year, individuals and organisations receive this very prestigious award for exceptional service to humanity; past recipients of which include Nobel Laureates like UNHCR- The Refugee Agency, Malala Yousafzai, HH Dalai Lama, Medicines Sans Frontiers; Nation Premiers like President of Ghana HE Nana Akufo-Addo; Prime Minister of Malaysia HE Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, HH Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan (UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs & Intl Cooperation), Baroness Caroline Cox (former Deputy Speaker of the United Kingdom’s House of Lords), Priyanka Chopra (UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.
Present at the award ceremony were Amruta Fadnavis, who has been active at the forefront in social causes and is the wife of the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Maharashtra; BJP Mumbai chief Mr. Ashish Shelar; patrons of Harmony foundation including noted filmmaker Mr. Mahesh Bhatt and Ms. Soni Razdan; prominent members of civil society and members of the diplomatic corps.

Earlier this year, Advocate Deepika Singh Rajawat has been conferred with Women of the Year Award by Indian Merchants Chamber of Commerce and Industry Ladies Wing, Mumbai in June 2018 at Mumbai for her contribution in women welfare initiatives. She has also been awarded with Humanitarian Award 2008 by Trinjan at festival of Mothers and Daughters at Vancouver BC Canada on June 24th 2018.

Deepika has been awarded with Women of the Centaury Award at Salute Success 2018 Thalilulam Block Panchayath Kazhimbram, Kerala on 17th June 2018 at Kochi for being a courageous woman.

Rajawat who has been working for Human Rights specially Child Rights and Women Rights since 2008, has also been awarded with Rippen Kapoor Fellowship in 2008 by Child Rights and You (CRY) for working on the Child Rights Violations in the militancy infested J&K.

She was also awarded with Sonjoy Gosh Media Fellowship by Charkha Foundation in 2008 for conducting study on the Child Rights Violations in the militancy infested areas of Jammu province.

Deepika who is heading Voice for Rights an NGO working for the protection of Human Rights in the state of Jammu and Kashmir is also awarded with Life Saver Award for contributing services for the children suffering from Thalassemia in Jammu by Department of Immunohematology Blood Transfusion & Medicine, Government Medial College Jammu on National Blood Donation day observed across the country on October 1, 2009.

For highlighting the plight of the children in the conflict ridden areas of Jammu region (Jammu and Kashmir) Deepika Singh Rajawat has also received UNFPA -Laadli Media Awards for Gender Sensitivity 2009-10 for Northern region on April 14, 2010 at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.


List of Awardees

Dr. Oby Ezekwesili

Ardent and passionate advocate who is a ray of hope for women in slavery and captivity.

Dr. Nashwa Al Ruwaini

An intrepid and artistic entrepreneur and philanthropist who has remarkably transformed the outlook of women

Nadia Murad

A globally renowned Yazidi survivor and human rights activist who fights to end the use of rape as a weapon of war and armed conflict

Dr. Denis Mukwege

Providing medical, legal, psychological and economic support to the survivors of rape

Sister Lucy Kurien

Working ardently and passionately to restore the dignity of destitute women to lead a normal life.

Salman Sufi

Introducing reforms that have provided legal, medical and counselling services to women who are victims of violence

Tawakkol Karman

Campaigner for the safety of women and right to inclusion in nation building

Laxmi Agarwal

A prolific campaigner and active voice for the victims of acid attack

Advocate Deepika Singh Rajawat

Defying threats and intimidation to ensure justice for the underage minor victim of rape and murder

Barefoot College

Equipping rural women with technical skills to advance and modernize their communities

Women for Afghan Women

Integrating women and girls to participate in all spheres of public life as equal citizens

Kiran Mazumdar

A pacesetter who has set an example nationally for women to emulate

Laila Talo Khudher Alali

For overcoming sexual abuse & slavery and being at the forefront in the battle against

sexual exploitation of Yazidi Women

Idris Bashar Silo Taha

Facilitating daring rescue missions inspired by selfless acts of mercy at great personal

risk and safety.

Sonita Alizadeh

A leading advocate against child marriage and fierce campaigner for the education of

the Girl Child

Suhani Jalota

Economically empowering women from marginalized sections of society to become

financially independent

Shahida Akter Shorna

Fighting against child marriage and promoting the right to education of the girl child

(Facebook, 21/10/18)

Pakistan/Kashmir: Lawyers Stage Boycott Of Courts To Protest Killings

October 18, 2018

Lawyers stage boycott of courts to protest killings

High Court Bar Association (HCBA) in occupied Kashmir staged a protest demonstration in Srinagar against the ongoing spree of killings by Indian forces in the territory.

High Court Bar Association (HCBA) in occupied Kashmir staged a protest demonstration in Srinagar against the ongoing spree of killings by Indian forces in the territory.

An HCBA spokesman in a statement in Srinagar said, “The lawyers abstained from courts in protestagainst killings at Fateh Kadal in Srinagar,” KMS reported.

He said, “Hundreds of lawyers participated in the protest. The lawyers demanded of the international community to come forward and play its role effectively in stopping the genocide of the people of Kashmir.” “The international community should put pressure on New Delhi to settle the Kashmir issue in accordance with the wishes and aspirations of the people of Kashmir,” the spokesman quoted the Bar members as having said.

“The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) should immediately send a fact finding team to Kashmir so that the sufferings and miseries of the people of Kashmir are brought to the notice of the world community and effective measures are taken to stop the blood bath in Kashmir,” he added.



Egypt: Egyptian ex-lawmaker goes missing, may have been detained

October 17, 2018

Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi

A former Egyptian lawmaker went missing nearly three weeks ago and may have been detained by security forces, his wife said in a request sent to authorities seeking information about her husband’s whereabouts — the latest reported incident to highlight worrying incarceration practices.

Rights activists say Egyptian authorities have made dozens of people disappear in recent years as part of a wide-ranging crackdown on dissent launched after the military overthrew President Mohammed Morsi, an elected but divisive Islamist president, in 2013.

President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi’s government dismisses as unfounded accusations of its involvement, arguing that in many cases those who disappeared left their families to join Islamic militants fighting security forces in the north of Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.


Human Rights Watch, citing figures from independent Egyptian rights campaigners, said earlier this month that authorities have made at least 230 people disappear since August 2017 and are increasingly targeting journalists and rights activists.

In yet another case, a court postponed a hearing for two lawyers from an Egyptian rights group who were detained and haven’t been seen since last month, the group said.

The Cairo Criminal court ordered the delay a day earlier in the case of lawyers Ezzat Ghoneim and Azzouz Mahgoub, whose case has in the past been handled by the Supreme State Security Prosecution, which handles alleged terrorism cases.

Ghoneim heads the Egyptian Coordination for Rights and Freedoms, which issued the statement. The men had been ordered released on Sept. 4 pending investigation, but have not been seen or heard from since Sept. 13.

Both Ghoneim and Mahgoub supported victims of alleged police torture, the disappeared and their families in Egypt. One such well-known case they handled was that of a woman named Oum Zubeida, who was interviewed by the BBC for a report about forced disappearances. The report had angered Egyptian authorities.

The woman had said her daughter had been victim of forced disappearance and that police tortured her in prison. The woman was later charged with spreading false information and is now in prison with the case pending.




https://www.hrw.org/fr/news/2018/10/03/egypte-un-avocat-defenseur-des-droits-humains-soumis-une-disparition-forcee (FRANCAIS)

UK/Iraq: Lawyers who pursued claims against British troops in Iraq will not face new misconduct charges

October 20, 2018

High Court dismisses Solicitors Regulation Authority’s attempt to overturn tribunal that cleared lawyers of wrongdoing 

Anna Crowther, Martyn Day and Sapna Malik, from law firm Leigh Day

Members of a law firm that pursued “baseless” allegations British troops tortured and murdered Iraqi detainees will not face new professional misconduct charges, after a legal challenge failed.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) had tried to prosecute Leigh Day co-founder Martyn Day and colleagues Sapna Malik and Anna Crowther, over their handling of claims against the Ministry of Defence.

But in June last year, a tribunal found none of the allegations were proven and cleared the lawyers of wrongdoing. The SRA challenged the findings.

Lawyers for the regulator claimed the earlier decision was “significantly flawed”, but the High Court dismissed its appeal on all grounds.

“There is, overall, no proper basis on which the appellate court, on established principles, can legitimately interfere with the assessment of the evidence and the evaluative judgment of the tribunal on any of the allegations which are the subject of this appeal,” Lord Justice Davis, Justice Foskett and Justice Holgate concluded.

“The outcome is that this court unanimously concludes that all the grounds of appeal fail.”